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How many got refunds~How many sued? - Page 2

post #16 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by K8memphis-

I think we hit the 'gotta refund & make nice' button first and it works for the most part--I mean not too many circumstancs warrant more than that unless it's a health issue huh.



I think more than the fear of being sued, people refund to preserve their good name. So much of this business is word of mouth, it can be devestating to have dissatisfied customers out there telling everyone about their bad experience. I think most decorators know the difference between when they've done a less-than-great job (for whatever reason) and when someone's just a PITA, fishing for a discount. I do agree with you though, I think that there is a slim chance of actually being sued, barring a true catastrophe that any reasonable decorator would probably 'make right' before it got to the lawsuit stage. It would be very cost prohibitive to sue over the price of your typical cake.
post #17 of 36
1: refund = 0
2: sued = once
3: 19 years worth

The bride that sued me said the wedding was cancelled & I returned all but the deposit because I felt bad for her. (I had her put it in writing that the wedding was cancelled and that's why she was getting a refund at all). She turned around and sued me for the deposit. I found out in the mean time the wedding had happened, she had found someone cheaper to do the cake the month prior. I brought the wedding announcement with me to court and the judge told her she was lucky I wasn't counter-suing her for the entire amount of the contract since it was clear she was caught in a huge lie. That marriage didn't last and she actually came to me a few years ago for the cake for her 2nd wedding. I wouldn't have had the nerve to walk back into my place if I were her, but she did.
post #18 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by playingwithsugar

In today's litigious society, a thorough and clearly written, possibly multi-page contract, is becoming more and more necessary.

Theresa icon_smile.gif



And it's necessary because people are idiots. See my blog article on contracts: http://cateritsimple.blogspot.com/search/label/contract

cfao, I think I remember hearing that story from you before. It was funny then and funny now (although I'm sure it was not funny to you at the time). Amazing how ballsy people can get, isn't it?
post #19 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cfao

1: refund = 0
2: sued = once
3: 19 years worth

The bride that sued me said the wedding was cancelled & I returned all but the deposit because I felt bad for her. (I had her put it in writing that the wedding was cancelled and that's why she was getting a refund at all). She turned around and sued me for the deposit. I found out in the mean time the wedding had happened, she had found someone cheaper to do the cake the month prior. I brought the wedding announcement with me to court and the judge told her she was lucky I wasn't counter-suing her for the entire amount of the contract since it was clear she was caught in a huge lie. That marriage didn't last and she actually came to me a few years ago for the cake for her 2nd wedding. I wouldn't have had the nerve to walk back into my place if I were her, but she did.



Oh I remember hearing about this before.

Just deliriously happy you prevailed.

So let me get this straight, your contract did not protect you from the process of getting sued? hmmm

And your contract did not save the day in court? hmmm

I'm not saying they ain't good to have and that they didn't give cfao the confidence to persevere--I'm just saying that listing every jot and tittle of potential difficulty is more than I can handle for myself. I do have a few boundaries drawn on mine but not too many. And it's an order blank -I don't call it a contract but it is.
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post #20 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by K8memphis-

And it's an order blank -I don't call it a contract but it is.


I'm always confused when I see "contracts" that are order forms. My contract is the list of legal stuff that we both have to abide by. The order form is what I use to make the cake, or the caterting/food. Last line in my Terms of Agrement states, "This Agreement, along with the applicable order forms, constitutes the contract between Cater It Simple and client."

To me .... an order form is an order form and a contract is a contract.

Bear in mind, too, that I have a separate order form for every thing I have .... a separate form for chocolate fountains, buffets, drinks buffet, apeptizers, breakfasts, lunches, cakes and any other special thing that pops up. If I tried to combine all of that in one "contract", ... well, it's just scary to think how long it would be.
post #21 of 36
Thread Starter 
Yes for sure, Indy, Cake Buddy Supreme--you are a caterer and that is a world of difference. My 'order' blank looks a little contract-ish--but y'know what--

The weirdo thread is making me think of this though. I despise for example when you go to a training and someone has photocopied training materials and only used one dang side of the paper. I loathe flipping though gazillions of blank pages to find where the heck I'm at.

I will sometimes rearrange them and punch new holes and tape them back to back so I can function in the real world. aghhhhh

So a one page 'order' is my limit. I do take notes that I attach but just one main body of information for moi. And I use a carbon so I make a coupla copies--or email the excel sheet.

Let's see if I can attach it. It's got a few details. And I have a schpeil that I say too--like the cake is guaranteed up to the time I place it on the fully prepared cake table. I just take my chances on whatever happens beyond that going forward--I get good pictures for insurance and away I go.

Well I can't get it to attach.
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post #22 of 36
That bride sued me back when I had been in business maybe 5 years and my cake deposit was $50. I figured since she was the one who filed with the court, I wanted to see if my contract would hold up for a judge - the worst that could happen at that point was I would have to give her the additional $50 plus court costs of about $15 back then. The judge did tell me my contract says all monies paid on account are non-refundable and I should have never given her a cent back. He said it would have held up in court. Here is the wording I have:

Terms: Balance to be receieved by C.F.A.O. no later than 30 days prior to wedding date or this contract will be considered void and will be cancelled. If C.F.A.O. agrees to accept a late payment & honor such an invoice, a $25 late fee will be added to the balance due. Any monies paid on account are non refundable. A $25 charge will apply to any returned check. Customer is responsible for all costs & fees incurred to collect payment by legal avenues. If for any reason an unexpected condition beyond our control should arise and the ordered product(s) cannot be delivered, C.F.A.O. shall only be liable for the balance which has been paid on the product(s) by the customer. This company and/or anyone acting as an agent may not be held liable for any other damages or losses. C.F.A.O. is not responsible for any product not supplied by us. We reserve the right to substitute is necessary. Heat and humidity will cause product breakdown during outside receptions.

This looks long written out here, but it is printed at the top of each of our invoices and only takes up 7 lines. The bride has to sign and date her invoice when she puts down her deposit.
post #23 of 36
K8,

I don't think there's a contract out there that can save you from being sued. People can sue anyone for anything as long as they put up the court costs. As we see on the news, people will clog up the court system to sue for anything if they think they can get a buck out of it.
post #24 of 36
0 Refunds (most of them are free)
0 Suits - most of them are for my kids, their kids and their friends - they know better than to sue me icon_twisted.gif
post #25 of 36
Thread Starter 
My order form:

I put all the particulars, names, dates, details of cake/s, other vendors etc.

The following are 'my contractual terms' at the bottom of the one page order that is written in triplicate with carbons that I bought at an Office max type place.



***A wedding cake serving is traditionally 2x1x4 or the size of a cupcake plus fillings. One 9x13   cake yields 24 cupcakes.Therefore choose your cake cutter carefully or consider more portions to accommodate more casually sized servings.

non-refundable Retainer $196.00
non-refundable March 24, 2008 payment $195.00
non-refundable April 24, 2008 payment $195.00 (no changes after this date)

* kitchen cakes in increments of 25 servings can be added after 04/24/2008 if necessary.
  
Paid in full   $586.00 (she paid a year in advance--friend of the family)
  
payment/s (in lieu of signature) confirms terms  
  
     
***CANCELATION MUST BE IN WRITING***    
  
     
~I take care of everything for you. I reserve the right to make your cake to the best of my ability. K8  
  
~the person paying and I both sign it~
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post #26 of 36
Sadly, anyone can file suit for anything. Whether it holds up in court, and it sounds like the contract held up in court just fine while the suit by the bride didnt hold up at all, is another thing entirely.

Refunds = 0
Sued= 0
Cakes....uhm....I'd estimate about 100 but I'm just starting out...
post #27 of 36
Thread Starter 
Yes, cfao, anyone can sue anyone for anything--so many times our cakebuddies say put this in your contract 'so you won't get sued'--there is no insurance against that.

I also like your wording about collecting-if I was a more active caker I would add some of that.

However, I just figured that if I do not receive written cancelation I would do the cake and collect later. Because I'm thinking that the contract is as bindign on me as it is on them.

It happens but rarely that someone doesn't pay so I mean what if the check gets lost in the mail--I mean that's my dumb dang luck and then I don't do the cake and then they sue me. Nuh ugh

Because I have been in that God forsaken pit of --do I or don't I make the cake without payment. It was for a double wedding--one bride paid and one bride didn't. Oh it was a weighty time!

I felt so good, like elated even after I decided to do it anyway as planned that I would sure as shooting do it again and collect later because I am a crack, professional soft collector. Dude, I will get you.

So but anyway--here's an interesting and very unscientific observation. The caterers I have worked with have page after page ofter page of 'contract'. The bakeries I have have worked at have one page 'contract'. Mortally unscientific I'll grant you but interesting nonetheless.
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post #28 of 36
I got an order form/contract thats about 3 1/2 pages long and I only do cakes.
post #29 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

If you're trying to prove that nobody gets sued for cakes, though, I do know a couple of bakers in my area who did get sued about their cakes for one reason or another. I saw one of the cakes and they defintiely needed to be sued for it! icon_lol.gif It can happen...



Whether you're sued or not, it's just prudent to have your ducks in a row.

I'm sure all of us know a number of people who have paid for car insurance and homeowners insurance for YEARS and never had a claim or never had an at-fault accident. Yet they would NEVER adopt the philosophy of "I've never been sued so why do I need insurance? (or a contract?)"

It's just prudent and responsible. No, having a contract doesn't prevent you from being sued .... but it covers your a$$ and sometimes prevents the lawsuit to start with.

I had a bride who canceled her wedding. I emailed her pretty much "thanks for letting me know". She asked about getting her deposit back. I emailed her that it was non -refundable. She was PI$$ED!!!!!!! Threatened me with all kinds of stuff. POinted out to me that she was "going to talk to someone about this!!" I emailed her the part of the contract that siad all deposits were non-refundable.

She then came back saying she had paid MORE than the minimum so she should get that part back. (She's arguing over $25 at this point). I emailed her the part of the contract that said ALL payments were non-refundable.

I'm sure I would have heard much more from her had I not had a signed document with these stipulations. So yes, in this case, I think the contract PREVENTED me from dealing with some 'zilla in a courtroom, and the hassle that comes with it.
post #30 of 36
Okay..I'm boring

1.0..partial but only because they caused such a fuss.Grew B#$*@ after that one!
2.0..
3. Too many to count....

Busy Bakin Kakes For Kids!!!

Mom to Mitchell 13 yrs and Delaney 11 yrs

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Busy Bakin Kakes For Kids!!!

Mom to Mitchell 13 yrs and Delaney 11 yrs

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